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iPhone  header logo

Days of Thunder

For: iPhone

Lightning never strikes twice

Product: Days of Thunder | Publisher: Freeverse | Format: iPhone | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0.1
Days of Thunder iPhone, thumbnail 1
Lightning always comes before thunder and movies usually before games - it just doesn't normally take two decades. Days of Thunder revs up nearly 20 years after Tom Cruise graced the silver screen as hot shot stock car racer Cole Trickle.

You can't stop the thunder, though, even if you're hard-pressed to fully remember the film. While the source is dated, the gameplay is contemporary: crashtastic action that puts a premium on aggression more than actual racing.

Buckling up in the driver's seat as Trickle, you work from amateur racer through the races to become a pro driver. Winning each of six circuits moves you up the competitive ladder.

Races take place through the American heartland from Tennessee to Texas to Miami and Daytona. After you complete each circuit in Story mode, you're welcome to head back and replay tracks individually.

Venues differ marginally in their layouts, consisting of simple straight sections and easy turns. The challenge in Days of Thunder comes in control and combat.

Taking full advantage of the accelerometer, steering is managed with tilts of your handset. Hit the gas pedal in the bottom-right corner with a finger and off you go, tilting the handset to slide through turns and position yourself around competitors.

A brake in the opposite corner is a nice touch, but hardly makes itself useful during aggressive races.

Slowing down is hardly the thing to do when squaring off against a competitive field of drivers. Days of Thunder appropriately applies pressure in each and every race - these aren't easily won contests. Victory isn't earned through smart racing. Instead, you seize it by clever bullying.

The game embodies the aggro spirit of the movie perfectly, putting the focus more on trading paint than pure racing.

Days of Thunder
earns plaudits for mirroring the film, but it unfortunately causes problems. Your computer-controlled opponents are entirely too eager to ram you off the track. If there's another car on the screen, it's guaranteed to side swipe or rear end you.

A little push and pull on the raceway is entertaining, yet Days of Thunder goes too far. There's absolutely no balance between racing and action, the clear focus being put on eliminating the competition through aggression not better driving.

Pit stops are necessary because you take on so much damage from being rammed by opponents, not due to wear and tear on your vehicle that occurs naturally through the course of a race.

Aggressive antics hardly have a lasting appeal; in fact, they're annoying when you're constantly bounced around the track. Lightening up on the bullying would make Days of Thunder markedly better. The need for speed is just as vital as the desire to push around the competition.
Days of Thunder
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 11 February 2009
Too much aggression creates imbalance in Days of Thunder, making it more of an action game than dedicated racer
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